Solar dryers made by women

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Нояб 28 2017

On November 17-18, 2017, a two-day hands-on workshop devoted to construction of solar dryers took place in the high-mountain village of Nisur (Gorno-Badahshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan). The workshop helped ten women from the most vulnerable families participating in the project "Pure Energy and Women on the Roof of the World" implemented by the environmental organization The Little Earth with support from the US Forest Service to acquire new useful skills.

The workshop was conducted by a local artisan, Rahmatnazar Mamadamonov, having the necessary knowledge and practical skills. The logistics of arranging and running of the event was handled by staff of Oyandasoz (a local NGO partner of the Little Earth in the Bartang valley).

At the outset of the workshop, the participants were presented with a general overview of benefits of using solar dryers and different designs of such devices. Having reviewed the theory, the women proceeded to explore the solar dryer design and then its construction techniques. Following the expert's instructions and with his hands-on assistance the participants constructed four solar dryers with their own hands. It was decided that the villagers would take turns using the dryers when the fruit drying season came.

"We heard about such driers before. Last year, such devices were constructed in the neighboring village. Their owners say that the devices are very handy for drying fruit and easy to use. Fruit stays clean in them and it is not attacked by birds or insects, whereas the drying process goes on much faster as compared to the traditional method. Dryers like this can become an additional source of income for mountainous families" - said Navruzmo Aidieva, one of the workshop participants.

It should be noted that the dryer design used as a basis for the training was rather simple. It represented a wooden box with several shelves covered with glass. Such devices are user-friendly and they can help address a number of social issues including those related to food security.

"Personally, I was very curious to take part in the dryer construction process. It was for the first time ever that I handled some of the tools. I also came to realize that there was nothing sophisticated about building such dryers" - said Muborakkhotun Gurgalieva, a resident of Nisur village and the workshop participant.

All the workshop attendees received general guidance about operation of the solar dryers, pin-up calendars and other information materials. Another workshop on construction of solar water heaters for ten female village residents participating in the above project will be organized in the near future in the neighboring village of Ruhch.

Timur Idrisov, Environmental Organization 'The Little Earth'
Rozik Yaftaliev, NGO 'Oyandasoz'